Growing & Composting Working Group

Develops resilient practices from farm to fork and beyond, which reduce emissions and waste levels to feed tomorrow as well as today.

All Things Green

This working group drives and supports strategy, research, learning and projects that cultivate better growing and composting in Sheffield. The group’s ultimate goal is a better food system for the city, and aims to achieve this by: 

  • Championing  agroecological growing projects and enterprises to start-up and scale-up via education, training, and good jobs at all levels; and financial and business support; 
  • Increasing the availability and accessibility of land for growing in Sheffield;
  • Driving research and innovation in sustainable and space-efficient urban and peri-urban growing and composting techniques;
  • Supporting and promoting the reduce, reuse, and recycling of food, green ‘waste’ and other organic wastes;
  • Placing the food system at the heart of Sheffield’s shift to decarbonisation.
  • Placing national policy around sustainable food growing  into a Sheffield context

Working Group Contacts

Resources & Getting Involved

The group believes in the power of partnerships and collaborations to achieve our goals, which is why we invite individuals and organisations ranging from community and commercial growers to academics, policymakers, schools and everyone in between and beyond to join us! 

Success in Sheffield So Far…

While our goal is about moving forward, it’s also important to celebrate the fantastic work that has been achieved so far in the sphere of growing, composting and nature-friendly food systems.

  • Nature-friendly urban and peri-urban farms and market gardens are recognised by Sustain’s ‘Fringe Farming’ programme as leading the way in increasing local food production, building food security and tackling the climate crisis.
  • Researchers and innovators, such as The University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food, are working hard to secure the future of Sheffield’s nature-friendly, low-carbon food production, from mapping suitable growing land to experimenting with innovative food-growing methods.
  • Sheffield City Council has formally recognised the role of land use change in achieving net zero and the need to make more space available for food growing. Meanwhile, many landowners are successfully partnering with communities to make space for growing.
  • The Growing and Composting Working Group meets regularly, bringing people together to share ideas and knowledge, support each other, and work together on campaigns for nature-friendly growing.
  • Various organisations are working hard to embed growing in our educational institutions by helping local schools to create and care for nature-friendly food-growing spaces.
  • Nature-friendly food production in South Yorkshire employs nearly 100 people, and work is ongoing to expand this by supporting new entrants into farming and horticulture.
  • Locals consume more local produce thanks to collaborations between growing projects and shops, restaurants, veg box schemes, social eating spaces, food banks, and pay-as-you-feel marketplaces across the city.